This poem is by my friend Pamela Johnson Parker, who has two poetry chapbooks and has been published in multiple journals. Pamela is an extraordinary poet and writer. One of the things I love about Pamela is that she finds so many connections between literature, art, poetry, and life. If you are a Wizard of Oz fan, you will enjoy this poem.
No Place Like Home: Kansas, 1965
Her bicycle and broom, her fingers bony
As catfish barbels, skin the shade of scales
Scattered from the luna’s wing—oh, the witch entire
Is what I craved—her pointed hat, her widow’s
Weeds trailing behind her like a burning
Bride’s veil, and her voice—pure power—
And your little dog, too. I mimicked
That rasp for days, and I was never
Afraid… Never. What scared me were the trees,
Apple-laden branches that groped and grabbed,
False faces, wrinkling grey bark… Trees like him,
Mr. Monday, who lived across the street,
Who clutched at my hair and my red car coat.
When I wouldn’t go back to the porch slanting
Before his pointy house. Da duh, da duh
Da duh—each lurching pair of steps was perfect
Iamb, a meter I’ll scan again, again.
No one heard me shriek, my voice was too faint
To carry. Later, I didn’t have words
To say what I cannot say. As I watched
The Wizard of Oz the weekend after,
Click here to read the rest of the poem. Then scroll down to read more of her work!
I love this, from start to finish! Thank you, Karissa, for introducing me to Pamela’s work.
Wow. Is that ever powerful!